More optimism, less caution at Medtrade

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ATLANTA – Traffic was steady on the Medtrade show floor on Tuesday, and attendees and exhibitors alike were smiling.

“It looks good, feels good, feels different,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director. “People seem less cautious and more optimistic. They are dealing with this bidding thing and figuring it out.”

It’s the expansion of bid pricing to rural areas that brought Tara Ellington from Alaska to Atlanta.

“It’s super important for us to talk to people who have been dealing with it and gaining insight from that,” said Ellington, director of reimbursement for Geneva Woods Pharmacy in Anchorage. “We want to know how it’s going to impact the market.”

Ellington also hit several sessions at the show, including the Audit Power Panel and Roundtable held on Monday.

“That session alone was worth the cost of the ticket,” she said.

There were plenty of first timers at this year’s show. Jeremy Mason, who’s just getting into the industry, said Medtrade came “highly recommended.”

“We’ve been working with people to see if we wanted to add HME,” said Mason, director of supply chain management for Beaver Dam Community Hospital, in Beaver Dam, Wis.

Mason was impressed with the breadth of products available.

“When I think of crutches, canes and wheelchairs—I didn’t think there were that many manufacturers,” he said.

While final figures aren’t available yet, Gaffney said attendance was tracking 10% higher than projected. The show also drew 400 exhibitors, some new, many long timers, like Drive Medical, now Drive | DeVilbiss.

“This is a big year for us with the new brand,” said Ed Link, chief marketing officer. “It’s important to us; it’s important to our customers.”

Link said traffic at the booth had been “busy from the start.”

The same was true for Sunset Healthcare.

“I feel there’s a few less people every year, but the people that are here are stopping by every booth,” said P.J. Ruflin, director of sales. “There’s always a lot of interest—the patient base is growing.”